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Support not punishment is the key to tackling substance abuse and addiction among nurses
Date:1/26/2011

delines, with random substance checks, support and meetings with managers and regulators. ATD programmes can also lead to a 75 per cent reduction in practical problems, like obtaining liability health insurance after disciplinary action, and they usually help nurses to re-enter the workforce.

"ATD programmes appear to be the best way to protect patients and retain nurses at a time when the profession is facing serious shortages of experienced professionals" says Dr Monroe.

The review covers nearly three decades of research papers and professional guidance from nursing regulators and brings together a number of previous studies by Dr Monroe on substance abuse policies in the nursing profession.

"We believe that the incidence of substance abuse among nurses, and especially nursing students, is both under-researched and under-reported, partly because it is considered taboo among many healthcare providers and nursing school faculty and staff" he says.

"Poor or ineffective policies that mandate punitive action are more likely to endanger the public, as they make it more difficult for impaired nurses or students to seek help.

"That is why we support ATD strategies that motivate individuals to voluntarily seek assistance for their dependency or encourage colleagues to urge them to seek the help they need."

Dr Monroe teamed up with Dr Heidi Kenaga, from The University of Tennessee Health Science Center, to come up with six key points that they believe should be incorporated into ATD programmes developed by regulators, educators and healthcare facilties:

  1. Promoting open communication by discussing substance abuse in healthcare and nursing education settings.
  2. Encouraging an atmosphere where people feel they can report problems confidentially.
  3. Providing information about the signs and symptoms of impairment.
  4. Conducting mock interventions to help people feel less fearful or uncomf
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Contact: Annette Whibley
wizard.media@virgin.net
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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